• Home Home

Woman shares brilliant tip to get rid of empty medication bottles: 'I needed to know this'

"I had no idea this was a thing!"

"I had no idea this was a thing!"

Photo Credit: TikTok

One woman is sharing a brilliant way to prevent clutter from empty medication bottles from accumulating around your home or ending up in landfills. 

The scoop

TikToker Maria (@livingplanetfriendly) took to the social media platform to raise awareness about Matthew 25: Ministries, an organization that accepts clean, dry, empty plastic pill bottles and repurposes them for medical shipments to people in need. 

@livingplanetfriendly I wish medication would come in paper, or that I could refill these bottles at the pharmacy. But instead, I send them to Matthew 25 Ministries to be reused! #EcoFriendly #LowWaste #ZeroWaste #Sustainability #Pill #Medication ♬ When You're Gone - Shawn Mendes

"My medication bottles are not curbside recyclable," Maria explains. "I hope one day they'll come in paper pouches or something compostable. But until that day, I collect my pill bottles and donate them to Matthew 25: Ministries."

Maria notes that the organization will accept pill bottles of any size.

"Make sure you clean them, remove all of the labels, leaving no glue or residue, and pop them in a Ziploc bag marked 'clean bottles.' You can then drop off or mail the pill bottles to Matthew 25: Ministries in Ohio," she concludes, sharing a link with the donation address and further packaging instructions. 

The website doesn't specify which type of resealable bag is required to ship the bottles, meaning reusable products could also be an option.

How it's helping

It can be hard to know what to do with items like plastic pill bottles, so it's easy to let them just sit in cabinets and drawers or on counters, taking up valuable space and creating clutter. However, an organized home has been linked to improved mental health and reduced stress. 

Matthew 25: Ministries is just one of the organizations that can help give your plastic pill bottles a new life. Another TikToker explained that animal shelters and homeless organizations may also need the containers and advised that a Google search could help you find local options. 

The Recycle Nation online search tool is another resource that can help you get smarter about your recycling. Others have reused the bottles as seed organizers or ice packs.

Finding ways to recycle or reuse pill bottles is also good for our environment. A 2021 press release by the University of Michigan's College of Pharmacy notes that more than 8 billion prescriptions are filled in the United States alone every year. 

That's a whole lot of plastic, as most pill bottles are made of polypropylene, which takes decades to break down. If these bottles end up in our waterways, they are a hazard to wildlife. 

"Our north star is to completely eliminate the 100,000 tons of plastic prescription bottles that enter landfills annually," Melinda Su-En Lee said in the university's press release as she discussed the development of the biodegradable Phill Box

Decluttering your home doesn't have to be limited to old medication bottles. Play It Again Sports will buy unused sports gear, while many schools or churches accept arts and crafts supplies.  

What everyone's saying

Other TikTokers were thankful for the information, with one person indicating their collection of bottles was substantial. 

"I needed to know this," one person said. "I hate throwing them [away]. I have a whole bucket for pill bottles." 

"I had no idea this was a thing!!" someone else wrote. "Awesome." 

"You can also donate to local animal shelters," another person confirmed. 

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider